International Paper plans expansion in Kenton


First Posted: 2/17/2014

KENTON — A Kenton manufacturer will double in square footage and hire an additional 125 people, the company announced.

Memphis, Tenn.-based International Paper announced plans for a 250,000-square-foot expansion at its Kenton facility. The factory creates fiber-based hot and cold cups, food buckets and containers, plates, and lids for the food-service industry.

“Our Foodservice business continues to drive shareholder value for the company,” John Faraci, chairman and chief executive officer of International Paper, said in a written statement. “This investment in the Kenton plant further reinforces our commitment to providing innovative, fiber-based packaging that meets the growing demands of our customers in the food-service industry.”

The facility had a number of positives, including a skilled workforce, multiple transportation options, and easy distribution to much of the country. International Paper also credited incentives from Hardin County, Kenton, the state and JobsOhio.

“I’m proud of the efforts the state has made, specifically through JobsOhio, in telling Ohio’s success story and aggressively recruiting new employment opportunities to Northwest Ohio,” state Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, said in a written statement.

The expansion should be operational by June 2015.

There’s an increased demand from food-service companies to use recycled materials, said Tracy Pearson, vice president and general manager of IP Foodservice.

“The food-service industry overall is experiencing solid growth fueled by consumer demand for convenience food and beverages as part of their daily routines,” Pearson said in a written statement. “Consumers are also voicing a stronger preference for products and packaging made from renewable materials, helping drive more demand for sustainable fiber-based packaging.”